Frankfurt

Frankfurt am Main, the home of the German Banking System and now the European Central Bank. It’s taken me a while, since I never visited this city while at Sun (1997-2009) but have been there several times since leaving them. Here are my notes on visiting Frankfurt; here are my pictures on Flikr.

Currency

Germany use the Euro (EUR). It wouldn’t be home to the ECB otherwise. Yahoo converts EUR:GBP here…, and the Currency Converter by OANDA.com, the Currency Site. is also available –

The nadir, at LCY AMEX : 1 EUR:1 GBP 14 April 2011

Getting there

I try to travel to and from London City, LCY [this site] [their site], but there are only four flights/day by Lufthansa. Swiss Air does some silly indirects, as does I believe Malev. BA, it seems still does three direct flights. Same on the way back!

Lufthansa does eight flights a day via London Heathrow.

The Train from the Airport to Frankfurt Central Hauptbahnhof takes about 15 minutes and runs 5 times an hour, costs a couple of Euros. Taxi’s take a bit longer, drop you at the door and cost about 30 Euros.

Town Centre



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Trains

Wikipedia has an overground train route map.

Hotels

I have stayed in the +NH Frankfurt City and the Hotel Adina, an aparthotel, which I like and is staffed by great people. It’s so good, I’d spend my own money on it. I have also stayed at the NH Frankfurt Airport when I was dumped there by Adaria/Lufthansa.

London City Airport (LCY)

It’s been a long time since I updated this page. I tried to travel to Copenhagen last week and couldn’t find a flight. On myt return I looked up all destinations and found this page, which lists them all. It seems I could have traveled to Hamburg and then by train, I looked, maybe they were full since BA only do two flights a day and weekdays at that. 24 Oct 2014 Continue reading “London City Airport (LCY)”

Greece

Greece

Introduction

I have holidayed in Greece on many occasions, on packages and latterly with Sunsail.

Currency

eur500Greece now use the Euro (EUR). Yahoo converts EUR:GBP here…, and the Currency Converter by OANDA.com, the Currency Site. is also available – 1.24 EUR:1 GBP 22 May ’08

Athens

I fancy a trip to Athens Jan 2010. The rough guide suggests,



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Beach & Hotel

I am looking for swimming as good as Stoupa with a hotel so we don’t have to do self catering.

Return to Ithica

I am returning in 2009. The flight is early, which means that we need to get there before the first train from Guildford. Sleeping in airport lounges is no longer my idea of fun, I have opened a London Gatwick snip to register my links.

I need to go shopping for some stuff.

Sailing in the Ionian

I sailed in the Ionian with Sunsail. They run several routes/flotilla’s from their base in Vounaki, in NW Greece. I traveled with them in the second week of June and it was beginning to get a bit busy. I wouldn’t want to go later in the season, when its also a lot hotter. 16th June 2008

I travelled to Gatwick by train, which was a pain in the neck on the way home as we were very late.

Preveza (PVK) airport is small and similar to many of the Greek airports. Don’t take pictures. It has a cafe on both sides of security, but its very expensive, and a tax free shop, if you need it. Otherwise take water, food and books on the return journey; charter flights are often delayed, and were in my case. 16th June 200

Sunsail publish an itinerary map on the web, and I sailed for a week on an Odyssey 32, on the Kalamos flotilla route. This was rigged as a cruiser which was easy to use with our light handed crew. It also had a car power socket aka cigarette lighter socket which I used to re-charge my phone. It has continental power sockets, but we had no shore power lines and so could not use them. It had a cd/radio machine.

I will buy and take a parallel ruler and chart-plotter next time. They lent us a copy of Ionian by Rod Heikell, which we used as our almanac, I may get a copy of this to plan my next holiday.

Vodafone’s coverage was excellent throughout.

I wonder if the boats have UK eletrical sockets, or if I shall need the car charger.

I have tried to emulate the route on google maps, but Google seem to be missing maps of large parts of Greece. Lefkas seems to have been updated. May 2009



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I have bought the Rough Guides, 4th edition, June 2006

I used an ATM in Paleros, which is just north of Sunsail’s Vounaki base. 2006~~

Sunsail run flotillas in the Aegan including the Milinia Flotilla, which includes a stop at Skiathos, and the Cyclades 43 I saw at Vounaki looked pretty swish.

Danny is returning to the Ionian in May 2009 and on the way out will fly to Corfu, stay overnight in Corfu and then catch a ferry to Lefkas. While researching my 2009 trip, I discovered that Igoumenitsa is the important entry port from Italy, so maybe another time. NB There are ferries from Venice.

Island Hopping

An article from Fodors suggesting an Aegan route using the “Flying Dolphins”.

General Facts

Here are some web sites with general facts about the place.

and the Ionian Islands

Touring in Switzerland

I am not sure Summer is the best time but…, actually I am not sure 2009 is the right time, have you seen the exchange rate?

Destinations

  • Zurich, see my Zurich Page for more on Zurich and Switzerland.
  • Lucerne
  • Bern
  • Basel

This would mean missing out on Lugano and Geneva

Links

Zurich to Zermatt

Hourly rail connections run to Zermatt from all major gateways, including directly from Geneva and Zürich airports. From either direction, one straight forward change of trains at Brig or Visp is normally required. At Brig (or Visp) one changes to the romantic little BVZ (Brig-Visp-Zermatt) cog-wheel train for the 80 minute journey up the valley.

source: http://www.ski-zermatt.com/arrival.html#Rail

Research

The Guardian did one of its sponsored supplements, Jan/Feb 2009 in several parts. I have kept them and put them in the filing cabinet and they gave me several ideas of things to do, and I created a couple of bookmarks at the time. Certainly and inspiration to return to the Bernese Oberland.

Triptrop

Travelling in NYC

See http://www.triptropnyc.com/

nycmetro cc by-sa 2.0

They say “extraordinarily pretty subway maps from anywhere to everywhere in new york city”.

The author documents his technology. I wonder how hard it’d be to build a house price database

The author says

As for the programming bits, it was a rag-tag team of scripts consisting of Ruby, Python (NumPy, SciPy, matplotlib), PHP, and ImageMagick all popped onto a couple hundred EC2 instances, running computations on a few gigs of MySQL tables. Distances and image overlays were precomputed for about 128k points in NYC and then moved over to S3 for safekeeping. Web stuff is all Sinatra and (of course) Google Maps. Datawise, station-to-station commute time is from the Metropolitan Transit Authority, and walking calculations are via Manhattan distance at 3mph.

Links

Keywords: Visualisation, Geography, NYC, travel, HTML, Technology

Brussels

I have and shall be was visiting Brussels on a regular basis. This page was copied accross from the v3 wiki in the early summer of 2013. I had stopped visiting Brussels for business in 2009, but on 4th August 2013, Starwood Hotels spammed me with notice of new and old hotels. I decided to revise the page. I have changed the tense in this paragraph, I put some linkrolls in for hotels and restaurants and links to the photos. Most of the what I say here is now getting dated.

EUCommissionHQ


More of my pictures are here….

About Hotels

Hotels in Brussels during the working week are expensive. I have at the moment a very long list of hotels on my del.icio.us tag list and on my google map. I am looking for an acceptably priced hotel near Rond Point Schuman, or on Metro Line 1 with internet access. The *** Hotels I have tried do not have either internet, nor mini bars, and while I am not desperate for booze during the night, it is nice to have some water.

My Brussels Map

This is the Google Map, I have focussed it on the Rond Point Schuman, in the European Quarter.



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Hotels

  • Sofitel; list prices are not cheap, but located on the Place Jourdain in the European Quarter, near the Berlaymont and Rond Point Schuman.
  • Carrefour d’Europe, a Best Western near the Gare Centrale. On metro route 1 and the train to Zaventem. I have never stayed here since its always full and I book late.
  • Le Meridien, a Starwood Group hotel, again near the Gare Centrale. Nice but pricey, often full if one books late.

More Hotels

  • Comfort Art Hotel Siru, well written about in the Rough Guide, which is right about the decoration, but has no internet, let alone broadband. (I only stayed there one night because if this, I was on business and this was unacceptable.) The mini bar was empty and a dispensing machine on the 6th floor was recommended. This had no water. It is above the Saint Germain Brasserie, which is nice, with good service. This is a 3* Hotel. The bathroom was huge and had a bath. Breakfast is served in the Brasserie. It is located on Place Rogier, so near the Gare du Nord and on Metro 2. Some might consider this hotel in an unnecessarily exciting and colourful part of town.
  • I should try the Hilton Brussels, while I have a gold card, its interestingly located on the edge of the old town near to “Louise” and the “European Quarter”. Its pinned on the Map above.
  • I stayed in the “NH City Centre” once, good restaurant, smallish but adequate room, broadband internet, great views from the room I had, the location needs exploring, and it wasn’t so well located for the business I had.

Restaurants

  • Check out the Rough Guide

Links

Things to do

  • You can visit the European Parliament building.
  • The pictures in the Musee des Belle Artes.
  • The awesome Grand Place
  • The Winterfest in St. Catherine’s.

Bristol

Off to Bristol, for the University of Bristol OSUM ‘Hackathon’.

I decided to visit friends at the same time and stayed am staying at the Hotel Mercure Brigstow in the city centre. The area seems lively with a large choice of restaurants and pubs which might be best booked in advance on a Saturday night, especially later in the year. I visited in March.

None of the city centre hotel in my and Sun’s price list have car parks, so NCP win out again. Many of the streets seem restricted as well, including the University although parking is free at the University on Sunday.



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Vienna & Hotels

Travelling to Vienna

I need to stay in Vienna at some time over the summer. Here are some hotel web sites, I’ve found with the help of The Rough Guide. These first few are all in the town centre.

Hotels

  • The Konig von Ungarn is well reviewed here… and here…, which makes it seem very attractive. It is very centrally located. (See here….) (T) +431 515 84-0. We actually stayed here in 2006, its excellent, as its restaurant, the people were great and we got a two room suite, for the family which is very hard to find in capital cities.
  • The Hotel Austria web page uses CSS to deliver English Language, doesn’t look that great, but need to check why I put it on my list, probably location, maybe history.
  • Pension Aviano, off Kartnerstrasse, part of a chain, building looks good. Restaurant? – The Hotel Mailbergerhof is also very well located but likely to be more expensive than the Konig von Ungarn. It’s described in the guide as the most baroque hotel in Vienna. I’ve been quoted under 200 Euros/room Early Summer 2006.
  • The Hotel Sacher is one of the big three luxurious imperial hotels. Reviewed in the Guardian and the Guide. Pretty expensive, probably more than I want to pay for two rooms.
  • The Radisson SAS Palais looks quite good since its located in what were once two palaces. Its on Ringstrasse, so we should check it out, maybe drinkies in the lounge.

Two other places to consider are

  • The Sacher Apartments for which I have a Google list but these are flats i.e. accomodation only.
  • The Art Hotel, Vienna which used to be called the Golden Tulip (not good) and is three stars and out side the Ringstrasse. Not sure if this is part of the Art’otel chain we stayed in Berlin.

Gill provided us with a Hotel Review of the Hotel Das Triest, which was not the most complementary about the Hotel or Vienna, but that’s their problem. We’re not using that hotel and are still looking forward to Vienna’s old world charms. The review mentioned the restaurant in the Modern Art Museum (MAK) at Steubenring 5 and the famous American Bar, otherwise known as the Loos Bar. Described in the review as a tiny shrine to Art Nouveau with masses…of classic cocktails.

Links

Things to Do

  • We ought to be able to listen to some Mozart, Beethoven or Strauss
  • Wonder what’s on at the Opera?
  • Need to take in some Art, either the the MAK or to check out Klimt’s legacy this site bears reading.
  • The spanish riding school (Training not the show), in the Hofburg
  • The Hofburg, Belvedere & Schonbrun
  • The Johan Strauss Museum
  • Cocktails in the Loos Bar or the Radisson Palais on Ringstrasse.
  • Tram ride on the Ring
  • 3rd Man walk
  • Walk around the Innere Stadt
  • Trip out to the Ferris wheel
  • Trip out to the Heurigen

The IUSY Headquarters is in Vienna.